Are blood transfusions necessary after surgery for a broken hip?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Are blood transfusions necessary after surgery for a broken hip on an eighty-five year old female?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Blood transfusions may be necessary after any surgery, as many times people become anemic from the blood lost during the surgical procedure.  Furthermore, since the surgery itself is such a stress to the person's system, it may take awhile for someone to recover from a post- operative anemia.  Iron pills are given to help build up the blood levels, but if the anemia is severe enough, a transfusion will be given as well.